Airway obstruction by a child's pacifier--could flange design be safer?

Eur J Pediatr. 1998 Mar;157(3):252-4. doi: 10.1007/s004310050806.


The use of pacifiers (dummies or soothers) for infants is prevalent. Rare episodes of an adverse consequence must be taken seriously. We report a case of aspiration of a pacifier by a 6-month-old baby. Nine similar cases were found in the literature since 1966. The details of these cases are outlined and changes to flange design proposed ahead of a new European Union Standard document.

Conclusion: Pacifier ventilation holes are essential, flanges should have a minimum horizontal and vertical diameter of 43 mm. Rings should be attached to the flange to facilitate removal if aspirated.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Airway Obstruction / surgery
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care*
  • Tracheostomy